Don’t forget, the 2014 Maryland March for Life is next Monday (March 10.)
On February 19, 2014, Gov. Martin O’Malley was questioned by a student from JHU Voice for Life about his support for abortion and his opposition to the death penalty at the Johns Hopkins University Foreign Affairs Symposium:
Here’s a transcript posted on the video’s YouTube page:
Martin O’Malley: Boy it’s hot in here. Are we reducing heat in Shriver Hall?
Jill Xiang: Hello Governor, I’m Jill, I come from the state of New York. and I’m happy to call Maryland my home. I’m happy you’re here with us. Yes it’s warm in here with so very bright intellectuals here in the room. First of all I want to thank you for your courageous stand here against the death penalty here in your own state. It’s controversial, it’s not very popular, therefore I really thank you for your efforts. It’s a travesty that the minority community has bourne the brunt of this injustice. Having said that, could you please comment on how you reconcile your stance against the practice [the death penalty] and your support for legalized abortion on demand, which is the number one killer of minorities, and as a Catholic in the public square, how would you comment on Pope Francis’s quote that legalized abortion is “the death penalty” for the unborn. Thank you.
Martin O’Malley: I try not to comment on the pope or theological matters, but let me share with you as a person in the public square, how I’ve come to look at these issues. Because I was educated all my life in Catholic schools and it’s very important to my understanding of the public arena is the notion of the common good. And in fact if you look through any of the major talks I have ever given, whether it’s the state of the Union or the Inaugural or the like you will find the recitation of my core beliefs which I believe are the core beliefs of the people of this state. A belief in the dignity of the individual. A belief in our responsibility to advance the common good, and an understanding that we are all in this together. So when it comes the issue of the death penalty, I believe that the consensus was there in the arc of history to realize that the death penalty isn’t effective, it’s expensive, and it doesn’t work; it can’t be fairly applied. And if you need another reason, consider the fact that the vast majority of public executions that take place on this planet happen in the countries, I believe, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, communist China, and the United States of America. So we repealed the death penalty, and also brought crime down to its lowest levels in 30 or 45 years and I still have lots more to say on what we can do to try to support. But what I have issue with, and it wasn’t easy—we weren’t sure we had a consensus. We thought we did though. I want to tell you, one of the important principles of the (muffled) teaching is that one should not use the coercive power of the state unless there is a broad consensus about the use of that coercive power of the state. And on the issue of abortion, I have come to the conclusion that that is a choice that is best left to individual women and their doctors, and it’s not the sort of choice, the sort of coercive choice that any government is very good at making.
(after) One the goals we have had is to reduce infant mortality—something we have reduced to record lows by reaching women, with better prenatal health. We saved 164 lives last year–infant lives–compared to what it had been just five or six years before.